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Re: [desktop] why kde and gnome's menu situation sucks

On 10/24/2002 8:39 PM, Matthew McGuire at gray@shadowglade.net wrote:

> --- On "Rejecting" Packages ---
> I see no reason for us to "reject" or "approve" a given package in regards
> to the Sub Project. Debian Sub-Projects are not allowed to "fork" from the
> Main  Project, as doing so would be counter productive. However
> Sub-Projects are allowed to recommend and guide decision making on
> intelligent policies and solutions for the Main Project. This is a
> reciprocal relationship. As such we 'cannot' officially 'reject' packages.
> We can safely 'Recommend' the correct packages to install and setup on the
> Debian Desktop. People will install anything else they want, as apt is a
> very nice application.
Certainly I don't think anyone involved with Debian Desktop meant to suggest
that package foo would get kicked out of Debian on our say so.  Never that.

The only thing for sure right now, is that Debian Desktop would provide an
option at installation, for a smooth, simple, elegant desktop.  The menu
hierarchy, at least the "Basic Menu", would NOT include every single X app.
Only the best of breed apps necessary for a complete desktop.  This would be
for the sake of simplicity and elegant user interface.

All those other apps could/would still be installed, they just wouldn't show
up in the DeDe menu necessarily.  Of course, a user should be free to modify
this menu; or switch to the "Advanced Menu" which would show all the
available apps.

Debian Desktop does not want to kick out packages or force our default
choices down everyone's throat.  We want to present a very well designed
desktop user interface suitable for the relatively inexperienced user.
Other users could and should still be able to customize to their content, or
reject our choices and defaults entirely.

Debian Desktop does not want to take away freedom.  We want to present an
effective free software desktop to a new class of Debian and Linux users.

> 1 - It mentions something about a 'Hints' field for menu entries. Ideally
> these could be used to create optional menu layers. This would help reduce
> the menu overload seen in both the RedHat example and current Debian menu.
> I have both GNOME 2 and KDE fully installed and currently the Tools, and
> System menus are horrid. Each are nearly the full height of the desktop.
> 2 - The Menu Policy currently describes a menu heirachy hat is completely
> incongrous with GNOME, KDE or the recomendations on freedesktop.org.
> Although I do not care for the overall organization of GNOME or KDE menus,
> it would be wise to attempt to merge these as much as possible. The
> freedesktop project seems to be headed this direction and we could very
> easily lend help there.
> Here are my 2 cent recomendations.
> The .desktop file menu system for KDE and GNOME should probably be built
> dynamically like the current Debin menus for the various window managers.
> This will help to provide a more cohesive user experience. This would
> remove the nasty  extra Debian and KDE menu sections in GNOME 2. It will
> also make it easier to update menus in packaging, as the packages will
> only need a "/usr/lib/menu/" entry. However doing so will remove the
> current KDE and GNOME way of ordering the menus and this may not be taken
> lightly. Therefore we should probably work on the organization of the menu
> with both projects in mind. Additionally, I would argue that we should use
> the "hints" feature to remove congestion in the menus. However unlike the
> policy I think it would be wise to predefine a set of guidelines for using
> menu file "hints". A hint for the application environment would allow the
> menu system to adjust
> accordingly. As an added bonus we could exclude menu entries from some
> environs based on local system configuration ("/usr/lib/menu.conf"
> mabey?).  Does that sound like too much work that needs to be done? Mabey.
> Mabey not. KDE apparently complimented Debian on the quality of the
> current menu system, and may be willing to work closely on the new one.
> Fortunately, some of the active GNOME developers are Debian developers as
> well, so their advice would be very welcome.
Matt, I like a lot of your ideas and where your thinking is going.  I plan
to archive this email and use it as a reference point.

> But since I am not a proficient programmer, I would be happy to help sort
> out some of more boring pieces of the mess. :-)
Many thanks for your offer of help.  I too hope to work on menu design and
layout. Let's cooperate on these tasks as the menu software matures and we
get ready to deploy DeDe.

Luke Seubert 

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